Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $4.85 shipping
Beating the Street Paperback – May 25, 1994
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I find the beginning chapters of the book very relatable and eye opening. Peter has a very down-to-earth style of talking about his life as a portfolio manager and has no shame in sharing the lessons learned from his investing missteps. I find it interesting that he never really had any set strategy for diversification and didn't really pick stocks to weight his selections among certain industries or types of investment. Rather, he just studied hundreds of different stocks looking for underlying fundamentals that seemed favorable. He never really distinguishes himself as a "growth investor" or "value investor", but contrasts the semantics between the two in his early chapters. I would consider him to be a growth investor since he focuses strongly on long term increases in earnings and dividends. Many of Peter Lynch's methodologies sound similar to much of what is presented in Jim Cramer's books. However, I would characterize Peter's delivery and presentation much closer to "sane money" than "mad money".
The writing style is very personable, and I like how most of the book could probably be understood by a fifth grader. But that is not to say the book is too simplistic. Later chapters go into more detail with the financial metrics Peter looks for in a company - something that both amateurs and professional investors could find insightful.
The fact that Beating the Street was published in 1993 is no disadvantage, and in fact makes the book more interesting since Peter's stock picks can be viewed through the scope of time. Curiously, many of the stocks that Peter recommends in this book are now defunct since the companies have been merged or taken over by larger entities. Perhaps they were bought out because of the same attractive fundamentals that put them on Peter's radar.
However, it should be noted that many of his picks went through tough times for investors not long after the book's publication. One of his favorite stock picks, Supercuts, overstepped its capacity by expanding too aggressively. By the mid-1990s, Supercuts was unable to make enough money to recoup the debt acquired from its rapid build-out. In his pitch, Peter also didn't tackle the question of competition crowding out Supercuts since its business model was so easy to replicate. Some of his other picks like Nucor or Cedar Fair are still publicly traded today, but have mostly traded sideways with bumpy ups and downs for the last 18 years. Since the early 90s those stocks would have presented subpar returns to buy-and-hold investors.
The poor performance observed by researching a handful of Peter's recommendations makes me wonder if the "50-baggers" and "200-baggers" that he ran across as a portfolio manager during the 80s could still exist in today's sideways market. A cursory look at some of his favorite stocks mentioned in the book made me realize that stock performance in general during the 80s and early 90s was superior to the decades after. Just look at the chart for Cracker Barrel, which returned almost 1900% in price appreciation from 1984 to 1993, but at its best only returned about 100% from 1993 to 2011. Although this is a topic for further research, it makes me wonder whether Peter's principles still apply in today's stock market or whether they need some updating.
The question of whether Peter's style still has the same effectiveness is why I am only giving the book four stars. Has much really changed? Would Peter still be able to generate annualized returns of 30% in today's sideways market? We may never know. I would love to see an updated edition with an epilogue from Peter on what he would do differently in today's environment and how he would change his recommendations given hindsight.
Whether you are a hobbiest, a budding investor, or an old hand, there is something in this book for you.
To be successful, it is not enough to have knowledge and discipline, you have to have a good luck, because market is unpredictable.
Most recent customer reviews
Also gives a good guideline for building a story on companies.